Open Access Freier Zugang (Open Access)  Eingeschränkter Zugriff Zugang für Abonnent*innen oder durch Zahlung einer Gebühr

The Importance of Oral History in (Industrial) Heritagisation

Melinda Harlov-Csortán

Volltext: PDF



The UNESCO World Heritage Committee and its professional institutions, the international body of cultural and natural heritage, emphasise the importance of the human aspect, the individuals and groups who are involved in the heritage context: the authentic owner/practitioner; the contemporary local or inheritor; the professional, who understands; the policy maker, who protects, etc. Accordingly, in the heritagisation process, oral memories and interactions play defining roles on many levels. They can justify the heritage management process as well as construct what should be valued. This paper looks at this complex status and the roles oral history examples can have in the research and management process. The paper focuses on the intangible aspect within the category of industrial heritage as the specialised committee of UNESCO’S World Heritage Council defines and categorises it. Accordingly, it presents an international perspective, although heavily European-centred, as many critics have already expressed. The time frame focuses on the one and a half decades after 2003, when TICCIH, the International Committee for the Conservation of Industrial Heritage defined its objective; however, previous practices and research examples are mentioned as well. The paper is based on the comparative and textual analysis of theoretical texts (of oral history research), general guidelines (such as charters of the international heritage organisations), and case studies. The aim of the paper is not to provide a chronological overview of the overlaps between industrial and intangible heritage management in the European discourse but to point out the effective realisation of incorporating oral history into (industrial) heritage studies.


Bibliographie: Harlov-Csortán, Melinda: The Importance of Oral History in (Industrial) Heritagisation, BIOS – Zeitschrift für Biographieforschung, Oral History und Lebensverlaufsanalysen, 2-2018, S. 134-145.